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PBA Holdings to market bottled drinking water

PENANG, 9 June 2009: PBA Holdings Bhd (PBAHB), through its subsidiary Island Springwater Sdn Bhd, will sell bottled drinking water processed at the Tanjung Bunga water catchment area from the middle of this month.

PBAHB chairperson Lim Guan Eng said initially, the drinking water would be bottled in 500ml packs and sold at RM7 per carton.

“Each carton will contain 24 bottles and we are targeting a production of 40,000 cartons at the start,” he told reporters after the group’s annual general meeting today.

Lim said PBAHB expects an additional income of RM280,000 monthly from the bottled water sales. RM3.5 million has so far been invested in setting up the factory and installing the equipment to process the water.

He said apart from marketing the product, under the “Island” brand, to the state government, there has also been demand from Acheh and from local industries.

The new business, he added, was a way for PBAHB to add value to the water obtained and processed in Penang.

PBAHB recorded a net profit of RM31.3 million and announced a 7.4% dividend payment to over 10,000 shareholders for the financial year ending 31 Dec 2008.

Lim said the profit marked a decline from RM43.9 million posted in the previous year, attributing it to higher costs and effects from the global economic downturn.

“Earnings last year was RM187.8 million. Though water usage increased by 3.8%, the cost of operations rose by 13.5%,” he said.

Lim also said that earnings from the group’s other operations dropped to RM13.6 million in 2008 compared to RM22.9 million the previous year.

According to him, PBAHB is making efforts to increase the revenue of subsidiaries comprising Pinang Water Ltd, Island Springwater and PBA Resources.

Pinang Water is managing a water treatment plant in Yichun, China, while Island Springwater is involved in water bottling activities. PBA Resources is managing operations at the Penang Water Services Academy and Air Itam Teambuilding Centre. — Bernama

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